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Marmion back from injury as fully-loaded Connacht go to Ospreys

The scrum-half has shaken off an ankle injury for the crucial Conference A clash.

Marmion in training this week.
Marmion in training this week.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

CONNACHT HEAD COACH Andy Friend has been able to name his strongest side for tomorrow’s clash away to Pro14 conference A rivals Ospreys.

The fit-again Kieran Marmion is in the starting line-up along with fellow Ireland November squad members Bundee Aki, Quinn Roux and Finlay Bealham.

Bealham will be in buoyant mood travelling to Wales as Connacht today announced the seven-cap Ireland international has agreed a two-year extension to him at the Sportsground until 2021.

Jarrad Butler captains the team from openside with rising stars Paul Boyle and Sean O’Brien joining the Australian in the back row. 

A win at Morganstone Brewery Field tomorrow (kick-off 20.05, TG4) could see the western province rise above the second-place Ospreys.

“We have a few of our more experienced players coming back into the side which is a big boost to the squad,” said Friend after unveiling his team.

“Caolin Blade has done really well for us over the past few games, but it is great to have Kieran back as well. He is a really important player for us and he is fit and rearing to go.

“We also have Bundee back in our midfield alongside Tom Farrell. So overall, we are strengthened by our returning players for what we expect to be a tough fixture.”

Ospreys

15 Dan Evans
14 Hanno Dirksen
13 Cory Allen
12 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler
11 Keelan Giles
10 Sam Davies
9 Harri Morgan

1 Rhodri Jones
2 Scott Otten
3 Tom Botha
4 Lloyd Ashley
5 James King
6 Dan Lydiate
7 Olly Cracknell (Captain)
8 Rob McCusker

Replacements:

16 Scott Baldwin
17 Gareth Thomas
18 Alex Jeffries
19 James Ratti
20 Guido Volpi
21 Matthew Aubrey
22 James Hook
23 Tom Williams

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Connacht: 

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Tom Farrell
12. Bundee Aki
11. Cian Kelleher
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion,

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Ultan Dillane
5. Quinn Roux
6. Sean O’Brien
7. Jarrad Butler (Captain)
8. Paul Boyle.

Replacements:

16. Shane Delahunt
17. Conan O’Donnell
18. Conor Carey
19. James Cannon
20. Colby Fainga’a
21. Caolin Blade
22. Conor Fitzgerald
23. Kyle Godwin

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